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Relations between Palestinians and the United States have sunk to a new low

A war of words has broken out between Mahmoud Abbas and the US Ambassador to Israel

    Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas
    Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (Photo: Getty Images)

    Relations between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority plunged new depths this week after a war of words broke out between President Mahmoud Abbas and the US Ambassador to Israel.

    Mr Abbas called Ambassador David Friedman “a son of a dog” in a speech attacking US policy on West Bank settlements, leading Mr Friedman to imply the Palestinian leader is antisemitic.

    In remarks at his Ramallah offices on Monday, the Palestinian president accused the US of treating West Bank settlements as “legitimate”.

    “That’s what several American officials have said including, first and foremost, their ambassador in Tel Aviv David Friedman,” Mr Abbas said.

    “He said [settlers] are building in their land. Son of a dog, they are building in their land? He is a settler and his family members are settlers.”

    Mr Friedman lives in the US ambassador’s official residence in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, but before his appointment he donated and fundraised for at least two settlements.

    In a speech in Jerusalem he referred to Mr Abbas’s remarks by saying: “antisemitism or political discourse? Not for me to judge, I will leave that up to you.”

    Palestinians have been officially boycotting ties with the US administration since President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last November.

    They did not attend a White House meeting on Gaza last week and have declared they would reject Mr Trump’s as-yet unannounced peace plan.

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